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Hello all, I want to begin this post by stating I am in no way trying to stir up trouble or even disparage anyone's views. I understand there are differences of opinion but perhaps after reading this post there can be some dialogue about future policy changes to the app. Additionally I admit a personal bias that i love this short mobile game, its addictive, charming and easy to pick up whenever. 

That being said I recently saw a video on Mangs youtube channel 

Mangs does Lps of Fire Emblem, I love his videos ( and yes it counts as an LP, come on guys hes not that bad. He's definitely been improving since he learned how 'led-geys'  work ;) ) anyways, he made a response to another youtuber and associate of his Mekkah. again mad respect for both of them and there is no animosity between them myself or hopefully anyone of this community. I just want to share my thought on this.

They both said their piece and made their points. For myself this was the first time I had thought of the possible ramifications of what 'whales' or those who spend extraordinary sums on the game might feel. Certainly there is a level of personal choice here, but it inherently preys on those who are susceptible to (well not manipulation) but influence. I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about it all.

So this is where I begin my own process of reflection and research. Firstly I created a Nintendo account for a child and was rejected, saying I needed adult supervision as the age i listed (7 years old) was too young to be eligible to create an account. So I used my actual linked Nintendo account created for FE Heroes to permit my 'child' to make their own account. The process is quick and simple and for the first child account requires an initial expense of 50 cents. Nothing for an adult or dude with a job, but impossible for a kid (at least one without their parent's card). So I delete the app, redownload it onto my phone and am about to set up the new account in a brand new game when I was presented with a grayed out icon of the account. The child account was unable to link their account to fire emblem heroes and so I just re-linked my own. 

Why is this relevant? Well i wanted to see how easy it is for impressionable youths to waste money on FE Heroes and it turns out strictly speaking, they cant. Children accounts don't look to be able to even link to the game. The reason I wanted to experiment with this was to examine how Nintendo deters kids from gambling their parent's money away. I'm relieved to say its difficult for kids to waste money, but the account that could link to heroes was my own, meaning a parent could still give access to heroes to their child via the parental account. The child could then theoretically use a card to purchase orbs without the consent of their parent with no interruption by Nintendo. I've purchased orbs previously to see what it was like and I imagine a kid with my card or theoretically a kid with their parent's card could just as easily waste money.

Do i think it likely that a 7 year old would abuse the trust of their parents and work out how to set up an account or else 'borrow' their parent's card for the purchase of orbs? Not really, but the potential is there.

So what ought be done? I don't think there is necessarily any moral imperative for a outright boycott. However, as difficult as it is, I think there should be a precaution in place to make sure only the card holder can purchase more orbs. This sounds like a fools errand, any policy by Nintendo could implement would be a hassle to anyone who wanted to purchase orbs and was a rational adult. Perhaps children accounts should be made to be able to link to heroes for tougher parental controls. This likely isn't a very frequent issue. I doubt many 7 year olds are playing a pseudo chess game so maybe no action is really required, or even the inability to link children accounts is in of itself a deterrent to prevent kids from playing the game in the first place.

Perhaps more contentiously there is the question of Whales, the players purchasing all the orbs, should there be a check on what a rational adult chooses. One man with complete agency spent 1000$ on Heroes http://www.usgamer.net/articles/fire-emblem-heroes-player-spends-1000-never-gets-hector-or-leo

I certainly cant tell others what to do and i enjoy the game immensely, but upon reflection, updates are only available due to continued support and spending by whales, those of us who don't really purchase orbs are still set to benefit.

In the end I don't have a solution, but this is the community that solved awakening on lunatic+ so I know you guys are fairly clever and maybe you can see something I don't. I don't mean to critique anyone's view on the matter, I personally think something but I'm not sure what, can be done to restrict children spending (if indeed that is even an issue) and also to perhaps discuss whether the whales indeed are rational or are else being influenced to make decisions they otherwise would not more so can there really even be any regulation or effective policy to conserve peoples wallets if they claim to get benefits from spending on orbs and see it as equal in worth to what they spent. Certainly the alcoholic example is of note here, the similar self destructive tendencies can be hazardous to the wallets of the susceptible but really I'm at a loss of what can be done without infringing upon the agency of others.

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I don't really have any idea as to what Nintendo could do to make it even harder for kids to buy orbs, I guess they could make so that you had to re log in to the Nintendo account when you want to purchase orbs.  As to limiting wales, that is a whole other matter I think that is in no way Nintendo's problem it is that person's choice to spend money on the game.  I feel bad for the person who spend $1000 on the game and hasn't pulled who they wanted, but they are the one who spent the money and are the ones with a spending problem.  I am F2P but that is my choice and I might spend money on the game in the future if there is a unit I want really badly.  I am glad that there are wales since I want Heroes to do well and I am also glad that Nintendo made it so that I don't have spend money to play the game if I choose.

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Legal disclaimers, like EULAs, exist for a reason, and if you aren't reading them when you agree to them, then that's your own fault.

Letting other people use your own account is something that you yourself are liable for. That's what accounts and passwords are for. By giving someone else access to your account or your password or your credit card, you have willingly forfeited any right you had to the security of your account and any information or money or whatnot associated with it.

As a software developer who develops software that allows patients to get access to their medical records (where account security is of full legal concern), this is my personal opinion on account security.

 

Also,

26 minutes ago, Jayami said:

One man with complete agency spent 1000$ on Heroes

AHAHA. AHAHA. AHA. AHA. A. HA.

That is all.

Edited by Ice Dragon

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1. Account passwords exist.

2. Somebody on Reddit contacted FEH devs to suspend their account's access to in-game purchases. However, this is not guaranteed to work as 2 other players tried doing this and got their requests denied. Source

3. You can also remove your credit card information from your smart device.

Edited by Roflolxp54

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I think it's fine. It's not Nintendo's job to make sure that "whales" don't overspend. If you lack that level of personal responsibility, the best way for you to learn your lesson is for you to have to live life $1,000 poorer.

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20 minutes ago, Ice Dragon said:

AHAHA. AHAHA. AHA. AHA. A. HA.

You were at 7.5k first month of the game right?

You disgust me

But I still love you

But you're disgusting 

 

I for one think that spending money on a game that's free is a waste of time.

Like how many chicken nuggets could you have bought with 7.5k dollars? There's better things to spend your money on imo~ Sure people like to "support the game" but I'm 90% sure that's under the guise of "Crap my percentage is still high so lemme finish it off on this banner real quick"

Not that there's anything wrong with that either, cause I've left 4 banners with percentage already smh -_-

Edited by Arcanite

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19 minutes ago, Roflolxp54 said:

 

2. Somebody on Reddit contacted FEH devs to suspend their account's access to in-game purchases. However, this is not guaranteed to work as 2 other players tried doing this and got their requests denied. Source

 

This is perhaps the wrong language, but this seems as an equivalent to alcoholics anonymous. I like the idea that there is a solution for those who might otherwise struggle to refrain from purchasing orbs. It definitely makes me feel better for the whales out there who make this all possible.

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disclamer. I do support Mangs on Patreon

I'll agree with Mangs here, I'm in the camp of "people need to be responsable for themselves" if you have a problem spending to much money, you need to quit.

budget what you spend, and you'll be fine

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1 minute ago, Captain Karnage said:

disclamer. I do support Mangs on Patreon

I'll agree with Mangs here, I'm in the camp of "people need to be responsable for themselves" if you have a problem spending to much money, you need to quit.

budget what you spend, and you'll be fine

For the most part I agree with you, but remember this is something that people can get addicted to and it's not easy to quit. Things can easily spiral out of control if someone get addicted to anything and it's hard for them to stop.

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While I'm closer in opinion with Mekkkah's in the sense that, no matter what we think of it, FEH is still a gacha in essence and no matter how much appeal and flair the game has to me, it's still what it is.

But I do play the game though, and had since it launched and stuck with it because... the game is F2P friendly. My fear with Heroes at the start was that it would gradually push harder on the player to spend money, and that would eventually cause for me to quit it, but pretty much the opposite happened.

I don't think there has been a higher incentive on spending money since launch (other than more characters being added into the game, but that isn't in itself a money making scheme when you would expect that out of any other videogame like it) and the game also... just... rewards you with a lot of free orbs. Constantly. They even add more features and game modes that ALSO reward you with orbs, and what's more, you can definitely play the game without spending a single cent because... that's what I've been doing, and know a lot of other people who play the game that way.

While I think there's definitely a discussion to be had regarding gambling and it's relationship with the "loot box" model in videogames, I don't feel like Heroes is a competent center for the discussion due to how, again, F2P friendly it is (especially considering how lately Nintendo has been making business decisions that make you wonder if they really want your money) so while I wouldn't recommend the game to someone I know has a spending addiction, I would recommend it to anyone else who would ask me for a mobile game recommendation.

(I feel like I made a very small point but whatever)

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28 minutes ago, ChaoticHoundoom said:

For the most part I agree with you, but remember this is something that people can get addicted to and it's not easy to quit. Things can easily spiral out of control if someone get addicted to anything and it's hard for them to stop.

If someone has a problem with gambling, or any other form of addiction, professional help is what they need. No one should feel guilty for enjoying something other people have problems with, in moderation. When I drink alcoholic beverages, I don't feel guilty because of alcoholics, and when I play FE Heroes I don't feel guilty because of people who are addicted to spending money on it. I'm no therapist or psychiatrist, nor do i run a rehab center, there's no way I can help those people unless I personaly know them, and whether I enjoy or not those things has no effect on their addiction.

Edited by Nobody

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If anything it would be unethical for Nintendo to micromanage a whale's budget.  It's not their place to prevent people from spending too much money on a video game.  

This same thing comes up with banks, casinos, etc.  People are going to make messes out of their lives - that doesn't mean we should take everyone's rights away.  

Edited by Lushen

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Interesting topic!  :):

Well, to put it kind of bluntly, I think if a kid is given access to their parents' credit card and uses it on Heroes, then that's the parents' fault.  :sweatdrop:  

Anyway, I kinda just skimmed the videos.  I agree with the first guy for sure.  

Obviously the company wants our money... So does every other company looking to make a sale.  I don't think there's anything wrong with it.  Trying to avoid temptation is just a part of life.

Not all whales are addicts, though.  I'm sure a lot of them aren't!  People who choose to splurge on this game are paying for entertainment.  Life is short.  If spending thousands of dollars on this game makes some people happy, then what's wrong with that?  Of course, if someone does that and then regrets it, it'll be a lesson learned & they should take precautions to prevent it from happening again.

I like to put my money into this game.  $1000 doesn't really seem like a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, and I'm definitely not rich.  I've put more than that into this game since February, and I don't regret it.  (I don't even consider myself a whale, haha.)  It's my leisure money.  The game is entertaining.  I actually think it's better than wasting it on overpriced drinks at the bar like I used to do... :lol:  But then, the things in life that are "worth" spending money on are all a matter of personal opinion.

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Gacha games make me a bit uncomfortable for exactly the same reason as gambling. Namely, both are designed to entice people to spend far more money than they rationally should; the very act of spending money becomes addicting (which can be the case for just about any use of money, but it's much stronger in gambling). Gambling addiction has absolutely ruined some people's lives and is a serious issue, one which I think a response of "just buck up and be personally responsible" isn't really fair (and frankly tends to sound rather like shaming addiction to me). For what it's worth, even at their worst I don't think gacha games are as bad as traditional gambling, because with gambling there's the illusion that the next $100 you spend could net you $1000; with FEH, nobody is under the illusion that their money is going to turn into something useful beyond entertainment. So I find FEH less manipulative and thus less bothersome, though obviously I do still have some misgivings.

That said... obviously I enjoy FEH; I actually think it's a surprisingly well-thought-out and well-balanced game. I gave it a spin not expecting to enjoy it at all (Final Fantasy Record Keeper didn't grab me at all and my FF fandom isn't that far behind my FE fandom) but it's actually good! So I ended up spending some money on it, not because I really felt compelled to, but because I like supporting the game (though I'm efficient in my support, of course... only ever when it's a banner I really like!)... though I can't personally see spending 4-digit figures on any video game. I think the best defence of gacha (or at least FEH, can't speak for the entire genre) is that people can essentially pay what they can afford for the game. It's extremely playable without spending any money at all, but if someone has lots of disposable income and wants to throw it at this game, well, more power to them.

In summary: I definitely think this is an important topic that should be discussed, and I don't think concerns should be dismissed or minimised, but for myself I've come to terms with the way FEH does things and am overall fine with it.

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4 hours ago, Ice Dragon said:

$7,499.00, thank you very much.

 

Thrifty

I think the unfortunate truth about Fire emblem Heroes is that a lot of people that unhealthily spend in this game have also done so in a similar gacha styled game. Or would be doing if they hadn't spent their time checking out FEH specifically. To play along with Mekkah's scenario, the town drunkard would just get his alcohol someplace else if you never opened your bar. I guess I'm so detached from this issue because gambling addictions never affected me personally. None of my relatives or friends lost their house due to a gambling addiction, and I know I always keep it cool when I'm at the table. But gambling is illegal in most parts of my country for a reason. Some people will self destruct if left unchecked. And unlike a bar, nobody at a casino tells you "you've had enough". Neither will Fire Emblem Heroes. That's something I always thought they ought to put in mobile games. Maybe not a pop up window that tells a player they've spent enough, but rather a threshold that lets them experience the game as hindrance free as possible. Like, if you spend 40 dollars on a game, all resources are free. Now play the game until you beat it tonight, champ.

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I personally see no problem with Heroes' pay to win system. As each team can only have 4 members, you only need to pull 3 at-least-mediocre 5-star units (plus a brave hero) to make a decent team. Also note that, If you really can't pull a 5*, there are hero feathers, and you get 10,000 of them right out of the gate!

Because of this, FTP players like myself can reach tier 18 arena, clear every story map (except the later chapters on lunatic), and create top-tier builds like my Draconic Aura Desperation Death Blow Delthea or Renewal Xander (RIP tempest trials). Heck, even my Escape Route Ninian gets some use!

Now, the orb prices are a bit on the steep side for what you're getting, but it's your decision to buy them, and everyone knows how expensive the orbs are. Also, this should be a lesson in "read the terms and conditions, you idiot!" to all those who got scammed.

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4 hours ago, Nobody said:

If someone has a problem with gambling, or any other form of addiction, professional help is what they need. No one should feel guilty for enjoying something other people have problems with, in moderation. When I drink alcoholic beverages, I don't feel guilty because of alcoholics, and when I play FE Heroes I don't feel guilty because of people who are addicted to spending money on it. I'm no therapist or psychiatrist, nor do i run a rehab center, there's no way I can help those people unless I personaly know them, and whether I enjoy or not those things has no effect on their addiction.

I think this is the best answer. There are many things that are perfectly fine when practiced in moderation, and I won't feel responsible for those with no self control..

Jesus, smiling Reinhardt is creepy.

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I think p2w doesnt make this game better at all. Its more satisfying and challenging when you stay f2p.

When I started spending money on orbs it just didnt feel right to me. In the end I deleted my account and took a huge break. Didnt spend that much. Somewhere below 400$ but still, if I hadnt deleted my account it might have become more. ☺

Like I said f2p is challenging and satisfying. I started my new account seven weeks ago with just one unit pulled (Ike) and tried spending as few orbs as possible. Seven weeks later I am sitting on nineteen 5*s. 10 pulled - 3 received - 6 promoted. Over 300 orbs stashed and missions worth around 150-200 orbs still to be played. I cant complain. And the best thing is, once you get a solid selection of units together, you understand that more units will not make the game better in any way.

 

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I'm not sure what the legal solution should be, but I've read too many cases of gamblers who try to remove themselves from temptation (going so far as to move so that the casinos they patronize don't know their address, change phone numbers ditto) & a chance encounter/bad day (read one about an addict who went back to a casino after a painful funeral...) pushes them back over the edge and voila, one last binge later they're ruined.

i strictly buy the $5 orb packs and I buy every other month max, on principle--I'll pay to keep the servers up and I'll chip in for a cute well made game but I am not dropping cash for a particular character, etc, or to pull.

it's not that hard for me to make & stick by limits but that's part of what makes me wonder if gambling can truly be an addiction; there's something going on there that doesn't happen to me, that isn't part of my make-up.

personal responsibility is important but it's a cruel thing to preach to addicts.

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On iOS at least, you can disable in-App purchases in the device's settings to bar kids from using them.  Dunno if Androids have a similar option, but there you go.

(the reason it's all grayed out for me is I have restrictions in general turned off, no one but me uses this iPod so yeah).

As for gambling addictions, just gonna echo what Nobody said.  Get professional help.  

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I myself am spender, It took around  400 $ to get Bride Lyn and similar amount go get full roster of Brave heroes. Does it make me addict?  No, because I can stop whenever  I want! (jk) 

But in all seriousness. I think about units  in game as product. And if it make me happy why not pay for it? Out there you can find people who pay billions for cars or art for example and while getting Nephenee might seem bit wane in comparison I will take it over Maserati or Van Gogh anytime (even if I could afford it, I mean). And to be honest It doesn't feel like hazard either' given I do get what I want for cost I am willing to pay (and sometimes even much less! ). 

I think it is similar for many "whales" and for other I would say it's matter if prestige, they want have best possible team with best builds, have full collection of heroes and want rank on very top. I can imagine these people take lot of pride from that. Actual addicts are minority imho. People who spend more than they can afford out of addiction obviously exist but one can get addicted on pretty much anything anyway. 

 

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I agree with Mangs. We are all adults here and we all responsible for our own actions. Children get an exemption of course, but Nintendo has already put parental control systems in place to help parents out, so I think they have done their fair share of responsibility already.

As a person who spent a lot on BB!Cordelia, I will say that getting the characters I want gives me a similar spike in pleasure like finishing an anime series, sharing my cooking masterpiece on social media, or buying a new Fire Emblem game. I do think Heroes has a really strong potential to get someone addicted. Unlike the other previous examples I mentioned, you can get the "high" repeatedly in rapid succession by immediately spending more money on Orbs, which is similar to taking multiple hits on a joint of weed or multiple shots of liquor. The high sort of builds on top of each other and it can get to levels that some people will easily get addicted to it.

Are their business practices exploiting human psychology? In my opinion, it is in a way yes, but so are other common business practices such as putting sugary cereal in colorful boxes on the lower shelves to attract kid's attention so they can bug their parents, or putting savory looking food on pet food packaging that appeals to human guardians rather than appealing to pets.

Is it unethical? Definitely no, in fact, I would say it is the right thing to do. The whole point of a business is to earn as much profits as possible, and Nintendo has a responsibility to do that for its shareholders. Having a payment model that takes as much money as you can from customers is a good thing.

Edited by XRay

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If Gatchas are unetichal, free market is.

 

Well, free market is unethical, actually, but then again when everything is unethical you can't fault a person for following the rules. 

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To be honest, I don't think it matters.

If a kid is being diabolical enough to steal from their parents credit card, that kid was probably not taught the proper moral lessons needed for him or her to second guess their actions. They could be influenced by the wrong crowd to try to be "cool" by having all the best units they can. Either way, Nintendo isn't the kids parent. They have measures to counter against such actions, but they are a business, first and foremost. It's not up to them to try and put a halt to it. It's the parents job to.

If a whale wants to spend thousands of dollars to get even one more Hector, that's their choice. So far whales haven't had any impact on how we spend our orbs to summon heroes (besides boosting the maximum unit roster), it's just a matter of "if you want the hero, then go ahead and summon away". Whether it's ethical or not shouldn't even be your worry. Judge all you want, a person is allowed to make their own mistakes without you telling them how to not keep making those mistakes. Let them learn the hard way, or let them live the way they want to live. It's not up to you.

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